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Butlins, Fun & Dancing (Bognor Regis) with Oli & Isobel

 Butlins, Fun & Dancing (Bognor Regis)

Off to the funfair for a fantastic, thrill seeking time.  We spun around on the Waltzer, bumped into each other on the Dodgems and elegantly rode the Carousel.

We love having our photos taken with the friendly Red Coats. They always make us feel welcome and they too, can't wait to dance the night away with us in the evenings. 

We headed out to Chichester where we spent the morning exploring the old town centre, shopping and visiting Chichester Cathedral which was very beautiful indeed. 

We always looked forward to the incredible, show-stopping performances in the evening where you could guarantee we would be the first ones up on the dance floor. We were also treated to a fantastic circus performance in the Big Top. The clowns had us laughing out loud and the acrobats really were spectacular!

There are so many great facilities at Butlins. We hit the bowling alley and split into two teams and it was game on! It was great to see a bit of friendly competition between us all. There were plenty of strikes and great scores all round. We also enjoyed a few frames of pool. We were getting pretty good at perfecting our shots. 

Devon Delights with Darren & Marguerite

 Devon Delights 

A beautiful morning was spent in Tintagel which is situated in the centre of the rugged coastline and has connections to the legendary
life of the mystic King Arthur. We took the long adventurous walk down to Cliff Edge and the long steps down to the beach below the castle. As the tide was out we walked along the shore to admire the waterfall falling onto the sand from the cliffs above and then explored Merlin’s Cave. 

The sun was shining as we made our way down to the Cliff Railway, built in 1888 which runs from Lynmouth up to Lynton. This water powered railway is the highest and steepest in the world with spectacular coastal scenery.  

We continued exploring, taking in the breath-taking views. We rewarded ourselves with a delicious ice cream as we sat and watched the world go by.

We admired the beautiful statue Verity, 66.4 ft high standing on the pier at the entrance to the harbour. The sculpture is of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby which symbolises truth and justice. David began singing with the buskers on the pier and everyone joined in and gave a huge round of applause at the end. 

We learnt all about the history of the Darlington glass factory which is the only remaining glass factory in the UK and viewed some of the unique items on display from the 1960s through to the present day. Many of these items had been commissioned by the Royal Family and of special events including the Olympics and other sporting events. One of the items on display which had the most stunning engraving was a Battle of Britain commemorative glass bowl with Winston Churchill on.

                            There was so much to see at Exmoor Zoo. We loved watching the small marmoset monkeys at feeding time and listened to the keeper talking about the success of the white storks breeding programme and how they migrate down to Southern Africa during the winter months and can cross the Sahara Dessert without stopping for a break. It was a joy to see some unusual animals like the beautiful sand cat and singing dog. 

When we weren't off out on our adventures we made full use of the facilities here at Hill Farm. 

Off to Paignton where we headed straight to the terminal of the Dartmouth Steam Railway. We had a drink whilst we waited for our train to arrive and before long an elegant steam train named Braveheart was pulling into the platform ready for us to board. We took to our seats and waited for the station master to blow his whistle. Our journey was through the most stunning scenery overlooking the coastline and beautiful sandy beaches.

Some highly competitive games of bowling were had at the bowling alley as we hit some lucky strikes. There were plenty of high scores all round. A huge round of applause was given to Sam as we crowned him champion. 
We walked down to the beautiful harbour in Ilfracombe and sat in the glorious sunshine enjoying coffee and cake before boarding for our boat trip. We cruised along the coastline with the Captain pointing out various landmarks including Watermouth, a sheltered bay and hamlet between Hele Bay and Coombe Martin. There were many people participating in various water sports, and we spotted a gentleman on a small boat pulling up his lobster pots.

Oh we do like to be besides the seaside! We loved all the fun the amusements had to offer. 

At Plymouth we visited the National Marine Aquarium, the UK's largest aquarium. We enjoyed the rock pools and were able to see starfish, crabs and smaller marine animals. We walked through the glass tunnel with sharks, turtles and large fish swimming overhead. It was such an amazing experience for the group. We learned of some of the conservation programmes which are aimed at cleaning our oceans, mainly of plastic. 

After enjoying a cup of tea we headed out on our Sunday hike across Torrington Common, through the woods and wildflower meadows. It was a little challenging at times, but we all managed it and rewarded our efforts with a delicious ice cream to give us energy for our hike back.